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  • StarfruitPosted 6 years ago under Uncategorized

    Starfruit is a tropical fruit from Indonesia. The entire fruit, including the skin, is edible and has a tart, yet sweet flavor. The leaves and roots are used in tinctures or teas to treat headaches, ringworms, and even chickenpox. The fruit itself has been used to help with hangovers as well as sore eyes. Interestingly, it is believed to stimulate milk production in nursing mothers. 1

    Taxonomy

    Starfruit grows on Averrhoa carambola trees.

    Kingdom (Plantae) → Angiosperms → Eudicots → Rosids → Order (Oxalidales) → Family (Oxalidaceae) → Genus (Averrhoa) → Species (Averrhoa carambola)

    Description

    Starfruit grow on trees that can range 25 to 30 feet in height and have a canopy spread of 20 to 25 feet. The leaves are medium green and soft in texture, growing to lengths of 1.5 to 3.5 inches. The flowers are less than an inch in diameter and range in color from lavender to pink, growing in clusters on the tree. The edible fruit has a star-shaped cross section and can grow to 2.5 to 5 inches in length. The skin and flesh are both yellow in color but can have a slight greenish-tinge. The flavor can be mildly sweet or sour. 2

    Distribution

    The starfruit originated from Indonesia or Sri Lanka before spreading through Asia. It is a popular crop in India, the Philippines, and southern China. It was brought to Florida in 1887 and to the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Central and South America in 1935. Because of rising demand in the United States, commercial cultivation of the fruit has grown in Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Florida. It grows in subtropical environments and can endure some frost when mature. It is not tolerant of floods or extreme, hot winds. 1

    Nutritional Information

    Starfruit is a good source of a variety of nutrients including dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is high in vitamin C, potassium, and B vitamins. It also is rich in flavonoids like quercetin, epicatechin, and gallic acid. 3 These nutrients mean starfruit has antimicrobrial properties as well as anti-inflammatory properties. 4

    Commercial Cultivation

    Starfruit is typically grown from seed, though grafting is used as well. 1 Starfruit can be harvested anywhere from June through February, but follows two main periods. Late spring bloom of the tree leads to harvest in early fall while fall bloom leads to winter harvest. These fruits are harvested by hand. 5

    Diseases, Pests, Predators

    While the starfruit is not susceptible to major diseases and pests, it does suffer from fruit fly, fruit moths, and fruit spotting bugs. 6

    Sources

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